Why I was basically a better human when I was sixteen…

Recently, whilst searching for my favourite purple wig, I stumbled upon an archive that I hadn’t seen for a few years – my year 11 school diary. This artefact spans a year in my life for which I was sixteen years old for the first half and seventeen for the second – turbulent years for most, myself included but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t filled with wisdom – the kind of which can really only be recognised with a hell of a lot of hindsight. Thumbing through the pages of my regulation school diary – which I, against the official rules, decorated to within an inch of its life, I began to realise that the younger version of myself actually had a lot of smart stuff goin on that twenty five year old Alicia and likely many other so called adults could probably learn from…

  • She readily and happily took the piss out of herself
Page one of my year 11 school diary - curiously with a picture of the school principal?
Page one of my year 11 school diary – curiously with a picture of the school principal?

See page one – the introduction for anyone who dared open my school diary; not only do I describe myself as ‘awesome’ and ‘hot’ (two things I don’t actually remember myself believing at the time), I also include a photo of myself stuck in a toy display at Ikea. Now I’ve never had any trouble ‘taking the piss’ out of myself – in fact it’s clearly one of my favourite past times. Let me repeat: I have no shame. This isn’t a common trait in a lot of adults though – and I’m so sick of meeting people who take themselves too seriously. Life was meant to be fun – if you’re not having fun, you’re wasting your time.

  • An unwavering love for only one man
The one love of my life, Alex Turner. Any man who makes me feel the way he did age 16 will immediately need to become my husband...
The one love of my life, Alex Turner. Any man who makes me feel the way he did age 16 will immediately need to become my husband…

On page two you’ll find a countless of pictures of one man (oh and his band mates) covered in silver hearts and lipstick marks. Younger me had it bad for Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys and let’s be honest, 25 year old Alicia wouldn’t turn him down. Seeing this reminds me of how my heart ached with love (or lust?) for him, hearing his (admittedly heinous) accent through the speakers in my bedroom stereo. The lesson here? Never settle for a love that is any less than the rock star crush that your teenage self had.

  • Friends were everything
When you're a teenager absolutely NOTHING is more important than your friendships - maybe something to be learnt there?
When you’re a teenager absolutely NOTHING is more important than your friendships – maybe something to be learnt there?

As our lives get busier and supposed priorities – like careers and new love interests get in the way, sometimes we can find ourselves neglecting friendships. My teenage self would have never done this and while sometimes her time would have been better spent studying or figuring out some realistic life goals, she always had her friends to lean on. As adults, sometimes our real friendships slip away. Please make sure that there is still time for real friends – the kind that will let you cry on their shoulder and snot in their hair (if you really must).

  • Fat thighs were a secondary consideration
Apparently I consumed this many lollies in one week. My dentist is one of my biggest fans...
Apparently I consumed this many lollies in one week. My dentist is one of my biggest fans…

As a teenager I was lucky to have a really good and positive body image. I know that this certainly wasn’t the case for most of my peers and as I’ve gotten older I’ve began to relate to what they were going through. While it’s not always at the forefront of my mind, I must admit that I do spend probably too much time thinking about how I look. I love a good hamburger but the thought of the fat cells on my ass is never far from my mind – sad but true. Sixteen year old me would not stand for that shit – she was pro food and while she had a terrible attitude to exercise (which I have now rectified), it wouldn’t hurt to invite her and her attitudes to dinner a little more regularly.

  • She had a hell of a lot of ambitions
I wrote a list of '50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE' - which ended up growing to like 150. There was a lot that I wanted to do I guess...
I wrote a list of ’50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE’ – which ended up growing to like 150. There was a lot that I wanted to do I guess…

There were lots of things that I wanted to do in life and all of a sudden being an adult got in the way. My goals have changed as I’ve aged, I think they’ve certainly gotten a hell of a lot less ambitious, also there are less of them and actually that’s kinda sad. Young Alicia surely lacked direction and had a wild and ridiculous imagination – but what’s wrong with that? Who was gonna tell me that I couldn’t direct an Academy Award winning movie (number 6) or write a children’s book with underlying drug references (number 42) or even make my parents proud (legitimately number 39 on the list)? Looking over the list, I’ve actually achieved some of the stuff that my young self thought would be really cool – joined dance classes, attended protests, performed stand-up comedy, travelled and made vodka jelly (some dreams weren’t as big as others) – so who’s to say that I can’t make more of my dreams come true, if I can actually dream them?

  • …and her dreams weren’t always smart or noble…and that was okay
Offshore bank account say what?!
Offshore bank account say what?!

And some of the stuff on my list was ridiculous – but what’s wrong with that? In a world where we’re always indulging in self-promotion, trying to make ourselves seem like ‘the best version of a human that we can be’ or some crap like that, I think we can become far too self-indulged. We’re too busy trying to make it seem like we’re making the world a better place and get so wrapped up in our own image that we actually become the kinda douche bags that make the world painful. Maybe if we could all indulge the idea that we don’t always have to be the gift that the world needs, the world might actually benefit – somehow? At least the douche bag factor would decrease.

  • She made time for herself
I always made sure that I had my mums signed permission before taking a day off.
I always made sure that I had my mums signed permission before taking a day off.

Taking a day off school to go to a music festival was more than acceptable but many of us struggle to allow ourselves time off from our busy (paid) jobs to do things that we love. Sometimes you just need to take it off and enjoy something. Hopefully you work in an understanding environment and if you don’t then maybe you need to consider changing things up because you don’t want to be like those unfortunate girls who missed seeing My Chemical Romance at the 2007 Big Day Out… which wasn’t me because I took the day off school. Yeah.

  • Her priorities were mostly right
Yah - priorities!
Yah – priorities!

A printed version of a MySpace quiz that I did at the time shows that it’s important to be annoyed by important things. While every other item on my list, other than my first is kinda selfish, the first item ‘ignorance’ is kinda vital. These days if someone asked what annoyed me, I’d probably say something pathetic like ‘bills’ ‘traffic’ or ‘people who don’t clean up their sweat at the gym’ – but younger Alicia’s concern with ignorance was kinda important. With mass communication at our finger tips, we all seem to spend a lot of time whinging these days, maybe we should whinge about more important issues than bad coffee though.

  • She spent her money on better things than alcohol
Skinny bitches drink...tea?
Skinny bitches drink…tea?

I bloody well loved tea – and I still do. Imagine how much better my world would be if I never had the idea to mix booze into my tea (by which I mean delicious summer tea cocktails, not spiked English Breakfast during my morning break). I’d probably have more money in my bank account but that being said, I certainly wouldn’t have a lot of the ridiculous experiences that have made me who I am today!

  • She didn’t overload herself
Check out all my obligations...
Check out all my obligations…and yeah, cool kids go bowling. 

While this may not have been an accurate reflection of what I did do on that particular week, this page struck me. I know I had a lot more free time as a kid – that’s what being a kid is about but I think as adults we should probably find a bit more free time for ourselves. I have a lot of hobbies, passions and pre-occupations and while these are the things that make me who I am – they are what makes me happy and keeps me going, bloody hell I do a lot. Sometimes I probably need to be more like my lazy ass teenage self and indulge in watching every John Hughes movie ever in one sitting, just because I owe it to myself.

BONUS IMAGE – I found this piece of art in there (along with many others, if you want to see the other stuff, invite yourself over for dinner.) Just thought y’all might appreciate it…?

It's a thing that happened...
It’s a thing that happened…

Tinder, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I should have started writing this at least ten minutes ago (okay, twenty…) but I found myself distracted by my old friend Tinder. I wasn’t even looking – I mean, yes I was “looking” but only in the sense that I was using my eyes to peruse while my fingers did the swiping (on the screen that is). Technically I’m currently otherwise satisfied – but I haven’t got to the point where I’ve deleted the app yet; that’s the kind of thing that signifies real commitment and I’m not sure that I’m ready for that yet. Two of my friends recently made that call in their blossoming relationship and the very thought of it made me break into cold sweats. I’d be more prepared to walk down the aisle and commit to someone I was matched with via an online love calculator on a reality TV show than commit to deleting Tinder. Why, I hear you ask – well boys and girls, the list pretty much writes itself, so without further ado; my top ten reasons why I won’t be deleting Tinder (any time yet, that is…)

(oh and for the uninitiated, a swipe to the left means “sorry mate, better luck next time”, while a swipe to the right means “good one sweetheart, something has sparked my attention”)

1 – Shameless – every last one of us…

I’ve got no shame – regular readers on my blog should have figured that out by now but even those people with standards and self respect seem to lose it all the moment they sign up for Tinder. Remember, I’m on there too, so every negative thing I say could also be about myself (but let’s be honest, it’s probably not). People are upfront about everything – start a conversation and you’ll be surprised at what you find out – and your suspicions that every member of Gen Y is a self absorbed twat will probably be confirmed

2 – I don’t have a cat and free to air TV is boring…

I feel like if I had the patience to rear a pet then I’d probably get one and that way I’d be entertained for hours on end. Otherwise I could sign up to Netflix – but that also requires effort. What requires probably equal amounts of effort but has a better pay off is swiping through Tinder. Sure striking up conversation can be a pain in the ass but hey, most of the time the shit that my Tinder matches dribble is more entertaining than an episode of Home and Away – plus if I’m lucky, they’ll invite me to their place that has a Netflix subscription – and if I’m even luckier they’ll have a heater / air con (seasonal variance, obviously) and that’s great because electricity is expensive.

I found this on the internet – if I had this in my life then MAYBE I wouldn’t need Tinder? Maybe… image from here; http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/hot-guys-and-baby-animals-kittens-pictures-photos-book-interview-audrey-khuner

3- I don’t need to search ‘hot shirtless guy’ to get my kicks…

FREE PORN SAY WHAT?! Okay, ‘porn’ might be an exaggeration but as someone who proudly admits to enjoying the occasional male strip show (I’m only human after all…), I do enjoy swiping, swiping and BAM RIPPED AS HOT TOPLESS DUDE. Thank you gods of Tinder – you know just what I needed on this lonely, cold Tuesday night. It’s not like I’ll swipe right – I doubt that any guy who posts a shirtless gym pic is the kind I’d want to introduce to my parents but that doesn’t mean I can’t look…and screen shot for later.

4- I live in a post land line world…

Back in the day, basically before my dating years, if you wanted to ask a girl (or a guy) out, you had to dial a landline, never knowing who would answer. Did they live with their parents still? What if they had a psycho housemate who liked to mess with potential suitors? WHAT IF? That kind of fear could weed out the weakest of contenders however with the ease of direct contact through mobile phones and messenger apps, it’s now way too easy to contact the person that of your desires. For that reason, the short description under Tinder photos is now part on an essential veto process. A quote from Anchor Man? It says he likes that movie – and that’s alright, it’s a funny movie, but he lacks creativity and he’s probably dull as can be. A Dad joke? I like your style. An upfront admission to being a sexist creep? Well I’m glad we got that out the way! Or you could be like Jacob*, 28 from Adelaide. He’s in a polyamorous relationship and wants to broaden his horizons – good for him, and good for me. Glad we cleared that up, I’ll be swiping left and going on my way.

Call me...boys.
Call me…boys.

5- I live in Adelaide and I have a really big family

I can literally swipe five times and bump into someone I know – or am related to. It’s like walking down Rundle Street in March. Okay, I lie, I’m exaggerating a bit – it took me fifteen swipes tonight before I found a kid I went to primary school tonight. Finding these people always puts a smile on my face – not just because I enjoy making sly judgements about what they choose to put out there but because it’s nice to know that they’re still alive and kicking. This counts for family too – as creepy as it is to almost swipe right on your first cousin (and no, it doesn’t go ‘your cousins and then your first cousins’ – it’s all as bad as one another…) it really is nice to know that they’re getting out there – I do have a huge family and if I had to keep up with their lives using Facebook and human contact alone, I’d run out of time to sleep (around).

6 – I’m a stickler for good spelling

Communicating via a message app allows me to make judgement calls based on your spelling and grammar. Sure, I could do this via text messages but by that point you’ve already got my number – you could deceive me with your dulcet tones down the line rather than accidentally revealing your major flaws. Let’s have a text only probation period – and that includes no sending of pictures, I want to judge you on your conversation skills, not your package…I’ll save that judgment for later.

7- I’m a sucker for compliments

I chose five of my most flattering and interesting pictures to adorn my profile; in them I look pretty and fun. Little do viewers know that I usually wake up looking like a swamp monster and that sometimes (regularly) I’d rather cuddle up with my electric blanket and a good book than go an drink in a bar. They don’t need to know the truth so early on – let them be fooled and falsely believe I am the coolest babe going around. I will therefore accept the compliments that follow; “hey beautiful” – oh you! “You do comedy – that’s so cool – and brave!” – oh thanks (it’s not cool, it makes me neurotic and crazed but I’ll let you believe it’s cool)! “What, you’re on a diet? Don’t bother, you’re so sexy” – says the guy that will never get to see me naked or learn the bumpy truth…

8 – Being a judgmental jerk is way easier behind a screen…

Can’t we all be bitchy from time to time? Probably better to do it in a setting that won’t get you death stares across the dance floor. Just swipe left or right and reap the joy and satisfaction that they power of your phone gives you – because feeling powerful from Tinder is healthier than starting a death cult.

9 – I’m paranoid…

That my fingers will get fat if they don’t get their daily swipe-ercise. I may be grasping at straws for reasons to not delete the app but c’mon, I’ve made some valid points so far!

10 -The excitement of getting a match is too much to deny myself…!

That thrill of my phone producing that distinct long and low buzzing sound can be matched by no other. It’s either keep Tinder or become a drug addict, clearly the choice is simple.

“It’s a match” – no three words can give me the same kinda thrill…

*Name changed because I don’t want to be a total bitch – but I’m sure he’d know who is and probably be totally fine with being named and shamed – Tinder is public after all!I

Dear Future Husband – not the radio friendly version…

I want to get married. One day – when the right guy comes along. It’s not a religious thing or anything like that; I just really like the idea of getting married (and y’know, having a wedding and all). That being said, I’m not just gonna settle for any old guy and I’m sure that I’m not the only one whose got a list of requirements for their future husband (though I may be the only one daft enough to air them online while I’m still single as all hell). Meghan Trainor released ‘Dear Future Husband’ earlier this year and plenty of feminists (like me) sure do think she got it wrong – I definitely feel like her list should have been a little more realistic…a little more like mine.
Of course I would like all the normal things that anyone would expect of a relationship; respect, love and shared dreams (blah blah blah) – but no one wants to hear about that. You want to hear my obscure diva demands and boy have I got some for you, so without any further hesitation I must present to you the list of 12 requirements (because 12 is my second favourite number, a fact that you WILL know if you wanna put a ring on it) of anyone hoping to wife me;

  • Must choose dogs over cats
    Dogs are superior to cats – it’s a scientific fact. Furthermore, I cannot take a cat man seriously – no disrespect, but these kinds’ guys certainly do not make me feel safe and secure. Much like cats, I feel like a guy who like cats will in fact try to suffocate me in my sleep – and not because he’s strangely abusive but because he has a superiority complex. You know it makes sense.
  • Must be okay with hair
    Please realise that I am not a dolphin. Yes, there are times where my skin will be silky smooth however there will be other times when you will be concerned that I’m turning into a Chia Pet – you know, those things from the 90s that grow sprouts out of them? I will try to regularly keep it all under control but let’s just put it this way, if he’s not willing to be silky smooth as a cyclist (side note; I probs won’t go for a cyclist) then you can’t give me grief for the occasional slip in standards. Basically, if you’re willing to wax your crack on the reg then I’ll consider putting in more effort.
Basically the opposite of me…
  • Must drink (and enjoy) wine
    You’re not a real man if you don’t like wine – well not in my books anyways. I’ve written about it before – but basically, you must enjoy wine. I don’t need you to know everything there is to know about it (but if you do, please note that I don’t really care – and neither does anyone else). Wine is good – take note fellas.
I love wine this much. If this carries on much longer, I might just end up marrying wine. I love it. So much.
  • Must have a star sign that is compatible with mine
    My star sign is Cancer. This means fuck all – except of course when it comes to figuring out with whom I could in fact be compatible. Let’s be honest though, I’ll twist it in my favour if he’s worth it.
  • Must be accepting…
    Of the fact that I’ve already decided on a name for our first born – and our second and third for that matter. Call me crazy (go on, see what happens) but I’ve got some damned good names picked out, so if ya wanna lock this down, just accept the fact that we will not be naming our child after your great-aunt Edna.
  • Must be okay with Nacho Cheese feet
    Sometimes (not often, I promise) my feet smell. There was one particular occasion that they smelled like nacho cheese Doritos. I have no explanation for this but it is a thing that happened and who’s to say that it won’t happen again? Be prepared.
This only happened once, I swear.
  • Must be able to deal with my chronic fatigue paranoia
    I don’t stress much and surprisingly I’m not an overly anxious person but every now and then I convince myself (with no solid evidence) that I’m suffering chronic fatigue. On multiple occasions I have ended up in tears, having a tantrum because I think I have chronic fatigue. I’m fine within a few hours though; just ride out the storm with me, okay?
  • Must understand that carbs are great (and sometimes they are not)
    Don’t make me eat healthy if I don’t want to but don’t make me eat shit food when I’m trying so god damned hard to ‘be good’ – and I swear to god, if you think that you’re gonna have any opinion on what goes into my mouth then you may as well just give up now. This includes edible and non-edible objects, pay attention.
  • Must be able to drive a manual
    It may be a strange measure of man hood but in my mind, real men have the ability to drive a manual. If you can’t drive a car at all, keep on peddling by sweetheart because as hot as your fit bod will probably be, I ain’t gonna dinky on the back of your fixie all the way to your parents house. Oh what was that? We could catch the bus? Been with that guy, done that, those days are in my past buddy.
  • Must not have nicer hair than me
    If your hair is nicer than mine, I will inevitably be intimidated. The inequality that this will cause in our relationship will be too much for either of us will handle and will inevitably end in tears.
  • Must not be too muscular
    Most girls have a type, my type is basically anyone who doesn’t make me feel inadequate (see above…) therefore, if you’re biceps are bigger than my head then it’s probably not gonna work. Don’t get sneaky on me either; I might have to put a clause in our pre-nup.
  • Must get along with my Dad
    My dad is the raddest bloke in the world, closely followed by my brother. They certainly have their flaws – anyone who’s seen my Dad on the dance floor can attest to that however anyone who wants to put a ring on it will need to get along with the main men in my life. The easy thing is that Dad pretty much gets along with everyone but lucky for me he won’t be backwards in telling me if he doesn’t like a guy – believe me, it’s happened before. Oh and some people might think I’m a little bit backwards but I would want a guy to ask my Dad if he was cool with it before asking ME to marry him. I don’t think my Dad needs to give permission as such, but I’d definitely want my Dad to be down with it.

So there you have it – some might call me nuts but I just like to think I’m organised and under control. Trust me ladies, if you don’t think like me you’ll be regretting it down the track when 15 years into the marriage you’re stuck with a cat loving, wine hating body builder with luscious locks flowing in the breeze